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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis Consumers International members in 100 countries are calling for a focus on the protection and empowerment of individuals in the marketplace based on consumer rights, and for co-ordinated strategies across nations and intergovernmental bodies to build fair, safe, resilient and sustainable economies through consumer protection. We are calling on G20…

Read More Consumers International calls for COVID-19 response to prioritise consumer protection and empowerment

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The Conexus Institute, Actuaries Institute and Super Consumers Australia have collaborated to produce an Information Sheet addressing early access to super. As you are aware the Government is allowing eligible individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. A challenge for super funds…

Read More An Information Sheet relating to early access to super

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The Board of Energy Consumers Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Lynne Gallagher as its interim CEO. Energy Consumers Australia Chair, Louise Sylvan AM, said Ms Gallagher was well-placed to lead the organisation for the next twelve months. “Australian households and small businesses are grappling with unprecedented economic, health and social pressures. The…

Read More Interim Energy Consumers Australia CEO Appointed

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The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) invites feedback about the proposed scope of its Inclusivity, Accessibility and Vulnerability Inquiry, which focuses on the obligations set out in Chapters 13 and 14 of the Banking Code of Practice. This consultation paper is being distributed to all Code-subscribing banks. In addition, the BCCC has extended the consultation…

Read More BCCC seeks feedback on its Inclusivity, Accessibility and Vulnerability Inquiry

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The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released the following statement urging competition authorities to use all their tools to combat the adverse consequences of COVID-19 in the markets. Under normal circumstances competition is needed in markets to keep prices low, but with the COVID-19 crisis wreaking havoc on markets the world…

Read More Defending competition in the markets during COVID-19

Cans of food stacked on a shelf in a grocery store Cans of food stacked on a shelf in a grocery store

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released the following statement, calling for authorities to do more to moniter and act on unfair business practices and criminal activities exploiting fears over the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has opened the floodgates of unfair, misleading and abusive business practices, hitting consumers hard and…

Read More UNCTAD calls for firmer action to better protect consumers during COVID-19

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At the Gartner CEO Forum today, ACCC Chair Rod Sims spoke with a group of 70 CEOs and senior executives from a range of companies across Australasia about how the ACCC’s priorities have shifted to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on consumers and businesses. Below is a transcript of his speech. COVID-19 Taskforce The ACCC…

Read More Managing the impacts of COVID-19 disruption on consumers and business

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The sustainable consumer is a key element of a better world and essential to overcoming adverse events such as pandemics. According to Consumers International, five major factors will drive sustainable consumption in the future: Consumer demand for more sustainability information Sustainable mobility and ridesharing Circular design and sustainable fashion The drive for sustainable packaging Building products to last –…

Read More Five factors driving sustainable consumption

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Scammers are now trying to exploit Australians financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with new superannuation scams being reported to Scamwatch in recent weeks. Scammers are already trying to take advantage of the Government’s recent announcement that people suffering financial hardship can have partial access to their superannuation from mid-April. “Scammers are cold-calling people claiming…

Read More Scammers targeting superannuation in COVID-19 crisis

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Consumer Action Law Centre has released the following statement in response to a report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on fiancial hardhip in the telco industry. A report released this week by ACMA shows that telco providers are not adequately identifying and supporting customers experiencing financial hardship. The ACMA reports shows that…

Read More Telco companies are failing people in financial hardship

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ASIC has written a letter to the real estate institutes in each state outlining concerns about some real estate agents who are advising tenants to apply for early release of their superannuation. AISC warns that such conduct by real estate agents may be in contravention of the Corporations Act as it may may constitute unlicensed…

Read More ASIC warns of unlicensed financial advice by real estate agents to tenants